FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

All Hail Nero!

by MIKE ROSELLE

It is said that the Roman Emperor Nero played his Lyre as his city was engulfed by flames. This seems unlikely, and there are no credible witnesses. Nero does deserves some of the blame. Rome in 64 AD was a tinder box of wooden buildings and narrow, crowded streets and alleyways. A modern day fire marshal would have shut it down long before 64 and ordered some changes. No doubt Nero was also concerned about this, as the historian Tacitus informs us that the public thought Nero wanted to build a new city to name after himself. This is why he stands today accused by many of starting the fires that consumed much of the ancient Roman capitol. Whatever his skills as the ruler of a ruthless empire, he probably knew the city was susceptible to just such a fire.

I’m guessing that Nero was prevented from making any reforms that would have alleviated the danger by the entrenched political and economic interests of the day. No one wanted to give up their shops, homes, or storehouses in the name of creating a Rome safe from conflagration. It was more likely that it is these politicians who should be accused of “fiddling” while the city burned. I find it very unlikely that these elected officials knew nothing of the risk, but considered only the risk to their power if they attempted to do anything about it that might cause pain to their constituencies. Perhaps Nero deserves a pass on this one charge.

Our current President will not be judged so kindly by history. A recent e-mail, released by the White House under threat of subpoena, will explain why. Here are the bullet points of that December 5th memo outlining what the EPA determined to be facts. I hope your sitting down when you read this; here goes:

· “The Administrator believes that there is compelling and robust evidence that observed climate change can be attributed to the heating effect caused by global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.

· “Based on the evidence before him, the Administrator believes it is reasonable to conclude current and future emissions of greenhouse gases will contribute to future climate change.

· “The Administrator is aware that the range of potential impacts that can result from climate change spans many elements of the global environment, and that all regions of the U.S. will be affected in some way.

· “The U.S. has a long and populous coastline. Sea level rise will continue, and exacerbate storm surge flooding and shoreline erosion.

“In areas where heat waves already occur, they are expected to be more intense, more frequent, and longer lasting.

· “Wildfires and the wildfire season are already increasing and climate change is expected to continue to worsen the conditions that facilitate wildfires.

· “Where water resources are already scarce and over-allocated in the Western U.S., climate change is expected to put additional strain on these water management issues for municipal, agricultural, energy and industrial uses.

· “Climate change also introduces additional stress on ecosystems which are already affected by development, habitat fragmentation, and broken ecological dynamics.

· “In sum, the Administrator is proposing to find that elevated levels of [greenhouse gas] concentrations may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public welfare.”

George W Bush refused to let anyone in the White House even open the e-mail file that contained this statement. Undoubtedly, he’d knew every one of the points by this time, yet not only did he take no action, he suppressed the information.

Friends, it was torture that convinced me that the Bush/Chaney regime had no regard for the rule of law. One could be generous and say that in using torture they had our best interests in mind, protecting us from those who would and have done us harm, but that does not remove the stain criminality from the use of water boarding. But there is simply no way to construe from this EPA memo any effort to protect the public from a known danger.

It is a crime to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater. What is the crime of not shouting fire in that theater? What is the crime of muzzling those who do? Bush has muzzled the Fire Marshall and assisted in the arson that has killed many and will surely kill millions more.

I suggest that the new President hold off on closing the Guantanamo Prison. There is a place for criminals like these, and there is no greater form of justice than locking up despots in a prison of their own making. No need here for torture, just some time to think, to reflect and perhaps to repent.

MIKE ROSELLE is a roving correspondent for Lowbagger. He can be reached at: mikeroselle@hotmail.com

 

 

 

 

MIKE ROSELLE is Campaign Director of Climate Ground Zero and author of Tree Spiker!. He can be reached at: mikeroselle@hotmail.com

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

December 07, 2016
Lawrence Davidson
U.S. Reactions to the Death of Fidel Castro
John Garvey - Noel Ignatiev
Abolitionism: a Study Guide
Clancy Sigal
Caution: Conspiracy Theory Ahead!
December 06, 2016
Anthony DiMaggio
Post-Fact Politics: Reviewing the History of Fake News and Propaganda
Richard Moser
Standing Rock: Challenge to the Establishment, School for the Social Movements
Behrooz Ghamari Tabrizi
Warmongering 99 – Common Sense 0: the Senate’s Unanimous Renewable of Iran Sanctions Act
Norman Solomon
Media Complicity is Key to Blacklisting Websites
Michael J. Sainato
Elizabeth Warren’s Shameful Exploitation of Standing Rock Victory
David Rosen
State Power and Terror: From Wounded Knee to Standing Rock
Kim Ives
Deconstructing Another Right-Wing Victory in Haiti
Nile Bowie
South Korea’s Presidency On A Knife-Edge
Mateo Pimentel
Some Notes and a Song for Standing Rock
CJ Hopkins
Manufacturing Normality
Bill Fletcher Jr – Bob Wing
Fighting Back Against the White Revolt of 2016
Peter Lee
Is America Ready for a War on White Privilege?
Pepe Escobar
The Rules of the (Trump) Game
W. T. Whitney
No Peace Yet in Colombia Despite War’s End
Mark Weisbrot
Castro Was Right About US Policy in Latin America
David Swanson
New Rogue Anti-Russia Committee Created in “Intelligence” Act
George Ochenski
Forests of the Future: Local or National Control?
December 05, 2016
Bill Martin
Stalingrad at Standing Rock?
Mark A. Lause
Recounting a Presidential Election: the Backstory
Mel Goodman
Mad Dog Mattis and Trump’s “Seven Days in May”
Matthew Hannah
Standing Rock and the Ideology of Oppressors: Conversations with a Morton County Commissioner
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
#NoDAPL Scores Major Victory: No Final Permit For Pipeline
Fran Shor
The End of the Indispensable Nation
Michael Yates
Vietnam: the War That Won’t Go Away
Michael Uhl
Notes on a Trip to Cuba
Robert Hunziker
Huge Antarctica Glacier in Serious Trouble
John Steppling
Screen Life
David Macaray
Trump vs. America’s Labor Unions
Yoav Litvin
Break Free and Lead, or Resign: a Letter to Bernie Sanders
Norman Pollack
Taiwan: A Pustule on International Politics
Kevin Martin
Nuclear Weapons Modernization: a New Nuclear Arms Race? Who Voted for it? Who Will Benefit from It?
David Mattson
3% is not Enough: Towards Restoring Grizzly Bears
Howard Lisnoff
The Person Who Deciphered the Order to Shoot at Kent State
Dave Archambault II
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Statement on Dakota Access Pipeline Decision
Nick Pemberton
Make America Late Again
Weekend Edition
December 02, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
The Coming War on China
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The CIA’s Plots to Kill Castro
Paul Street
The Iron Heel at Home: Force Matters
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Timberg’s Tale: Washington Post Reporter Spreads Blacklist of Independent Journalist Sites
Andrew Levine
Must We Now Rethink the Hillary Question? Absolutely, Not
Joshua Frank
CounterPunch as Russian Propagandists: the Washington Post’s Shallow Smear
David Rosen
The Return of HUAC?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail